Sports

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey excited about returning perimeter players as team moves to ACC

  • Notre Dame players Pat Connaughton, left, Eric Atkins, middle, and Jerian Grant pose for the squad's official photograph during the NCAA college basketball team's media day, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)

    Notre Dame players Pat Connaughton, left, Eric Atkins, middle, and Jerian Grant pose for the squad's official photograph during the NCAA college basketball team's media day, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)  (The Associated Press)

  • Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, right, laughs as his team gets into position for the official photograph during the NCAA college basketball team's media day, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)

    Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, right, laughs as his team gets into position for the official photograph during the NCAA college basketball team's media day, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)  (The Associated Press)

  • Notre Dame's Austin Burgett, left, and Patrick Crowley laugh during the NCAA college basketball team's media day on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)

    Notre Dame's Austin Burgett, left, and Patrick Crowley laugh during the NCAA college basketball team's media day on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, James Brosher)  (The Associated Press)

Notre Dame's move to the Atlantic Coast Conference will be without the player who became the face of the program over the last four seasons.

Replacing the rebounding and energy of graduated forward Jack Cooley will be a key for Notre Dame's success in its first season in its new conference, coach Mike Brey said Wednesday at the team's media day.

Brey said he is excited about the return of veteran perimeter players Jerian Grant, Eric Atkins and Pat Connaughton. The three have played together the past three seasons, winning at least 20 games each season.

While admitting he'll miss the Big East, especially the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York, Brey said he is eager for the challenge of seeing how Notre Dame will stack up against perennial ACC powers such as Duke and North Carolina.